Israeli Troops Said to Clash with Shiite Guerrillas
Dec. 22, 1991
NABATIYEH, Lebanon (AP) _ Israeli soldiers clashed before dawn Sunday with Shiite Muslim fundamentalist guerrillas in south Lebanon, a Shiite cleric said. The Israeli military said it had no information about the reported clash.
Sheik Ahmed Taleb, the imam of the southern village of Jibsheet, said the Israelis advanced from the village of Qarnoun inside their self-styled security zone to the outskirts of Jibsheet.
Guerrillas ''spotted the Israelis and a half-hour clash followed,'' added Taleb. He said there were no casualties among the guerrillas.
The clash came a day after Israeli forces freed three Lebanese men they abducted Friday, including a butcher whose two children were killed by a separate explosion Friday.
Friday's events underscored the spiraling violence that has plagued southern Lebanon since the opening of the Middle East peace talks under U.S. and Soviet auspices Oct. 31. Iran and its fundamentalist allies in Lebanon have pledged to sabotage the talks.
The security zone was carved out by Israel in 1985 to shield its northern stretches from cross-border guerrilla raids. The enclave stretches over 440 square miles from the Mediterranean coast into the foothills of Mount Hermon.